When Wizards first hit the screens in my neck of the woods it was only carried by our local Drive-In, which was great a experience as they did an all-nighter of movies that weekend. Wizards was the fourth movie in the line-up, the third being the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and when the last of the credits were rolling on Ralph Bakshi’s animated fantasy epic the sun just peeked over the mountains obliterating the image on the screen. A truly magical movie watching memory though I bet at the time if you would have asked my father how he felt about it he might have had a different viewpoint. However, the movie universe of Wizards was embedded in my brain from then on out and I know that I used up a ton of notebooks drawing images of Peace on his horse/lizard mount…at least I was able to secure the poster for the VHS release many years later and I’m happy to report that it still hangs on my wall.
When it was released on VHS…I was confused as to why it had a PG rating, I remember the original being R for obvious animated violence, there were also scenes missing from the release. You can see a few of them here in the trailer. When the film gained a DVD printing back in 2004 thanks to fan online petitions, I was certain that the scenes would be restored…but alas that was not to be. I’m beginning to wonder if those scenes ever existed at all. I also wish they would release a soundtrack for the picture, which they never did even on original release, I especially enjoy Jesse Welles “Only Time Will Tell”. I want the soundtrack for Wizards almost as much as I do for Silent Running!
By the way, doing a little research shows that there are rumors of a sequel to Wizards though that was back in 2008. So let us hope that Ralph Bakshi can work some more of his magic and get that backing secured because us fantasy fans could use further adventures of Avatar, Weehawk, and Elinore!